4.8 9
by Jeannette Angell

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
When a bad boyfriend leaves with the contents of her checking account, professor and novelist Angell (The Illusionist; Wings; etc.) decides to stabilize her finances by responding to an ad seeking escorts. Surprisingly, the world she enters isn't all that different from the Boston dating scene she already knew; it's just far more lucrative. At least her clients are relatively clear about what they want, and Angell is able to teach by day and have "dates" by night for more than three years. Separation of her two worlds is crucial but not difficult: "what we do as prostitutes... does not constitute sex in our minds." The characters who populate this tour are often sympathetic, as is Angell, though her repeated assurances sometimes ring hollow in the face of her after-hours job's drug use, abuse and manipulative behavior. To process her own participation in prostitution, and to feed the fascinated responses of others, Angell eventually teaches a university-level class on its history that is, ironically, partly responsible for advancing her career to the point where she stops doing "calls" altogether. It also helped that she was nearly busted by an undercover cop, lost a dear friend to drugs and committed the faux pas of falling in love with a client. Now married, Angell winds down with a call to legalize prostitution to encourage regulation of this vast industry. Agent, Phillip Spitzer. (Aug.) Forecast: Callgirl is shaping up to be one of Permanent's most commercial books ever: Angell will appear on Oprah later this fall, and the book is a BookSense August pick, as well as a selection of all five BookSpan clubs. An excerpt will run in Boston magazine, and rights have been sold in 11 overseas countries, totaling with domestic rights sales more than $100,000. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Engrossing, no-holds-barred story of a college lecturer by day and a callgirl by night. When a live-in boyfriend (known here only as Peter the Rat Bastard) moved out in the mid-1990s and took the contents of their joint checking account with him, the author was strapped for cash. To supplement her small income as an adjunct sociology lecturer at a Boston-area college, she contacted the owner of an escort service whose ad had caught her attention. As a callgirl-in her view, "a skilled professional possessing an area of knowledge for which there is a demand"-she could net $140 an hour plus tips and keep her respectable day job. Angell signed on and found that her clients were ordinary guys, much like the men she had dated. Her blow-by-blow accounts of her encounters range from sexless eating bouts with a restaurant owner to an evening with a man who just wanted to wear her undergarments to "doubles" sessions with a client and a second callgirl. It's not all action, however; the author gives ample space to her thoughts about sex and prostitution. Besides the close-ups of the clients and their quirks, she paints deft profiles of the escort-service owner, known here as Peach, and of a cocaine-addicted co-worker. Angell brought the two sides of her life together in a course on the history and sociology of prostitution that led to some academic recognition and a heavier teaching load. Eventually, aware that her classroom work was deteriorating and that she wasn't getting any younger (she was in her mid-30s), she decided to quit her night job, pushed over the edge by a frightening brush with the law. While this reads like a memoir, a faint suspicion lingers that it could be fiction, like theauthor's previous work (The Illusionist, 2000, etc.). Either way, it provides a revelatory view of a life few women know much about.

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Permanent Press, The
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5.16(w) x 9.84(h) x 0.69(d)

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Callgirl 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ms. Angell's book is a fast read done in a style that makes you feel as if you are listening to a friend over coffee. I found her insight into the profession reflective of what I had learned from interacting with those involved in prostitution. She manages to not only give insight on the impact and meaning of the career to her, but also to others who participated for reasons of their own. An excellent study of both the professionals and the clients involved in the business.
Guest More than 1 year ago
From this book I received a finer appreciation for callgirls and for the services they provide. They think deeply about the ethical issues involved in their worrk, and they strive to give the best possible performance possible. Angell could have been clearer in her contrasting callgirls to hookers. In the final analysis, what is the difference between the two? She never adequately answered that question. Her description of her different relationships captivated me. In parfticular, her relationship with Sophie was very forceful. That was a turning-point for her, helping her to realize what could happen if she wasn't careful. She was able to finally disengage from Sophie, and eventually leave from the escort service. As a result of her three year stint with Peach, she became more perceptive, and better able to teach. She also talked about mens' gullibility, how her clients believed all the compliments she gave them. Men need to be stroked. Men need to be told repeatedly that the world revolves around them. Women who understand this fact are adored by men. Angell admitted to her own gullibility, most poignantly with the Pakistani Harvard student named 'Kai' who seduced her into having sex with him free of charge. Kai's performance was sensational, and Angell fell for it. She deserves a lot of credit for giving a belanced portrayal of herself, both as callgirl and professor.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Callgirl is no ordinary tell-all book, and Jeannette Angell no ordinary writer. The French-born author - who earned her Master of Divinity degree at Yale and her doctorate in social anthropology from Boston University - had just begun a new semester teaching a series of college lectures when a live-in boyfriend vanished, wiping out her bank account and prepaid salary. Boston's rent wasn't cheap, and she needed money, fast. She answered an ad by a mid-level escort service, and spent the next three years working as a $200-an-hour Boston callgirl by night and university lecturer by day. Callgirl is a studious account of those years and a behind-the-scenes look at one of America's most mysterious and misunderstood professions. Callgirl also takes a thought-provoking look at a common assertion - that men who employ prostitutes are normal but the women who engage in the trade are not. Angell successfully breaks down many stereotypes in a page-turning memoir one won't easily forget.
Guest More than 1 year ago
On Saturday I promised myself that if I finished a chore, I would get to start reading CALLGIRL, sitting brand new on my shelf. Chore done, I opened the book¿and couldn¿t put it down. A cliché come true. I finished that night before bed. The author¿s first-hand, frank account of the escort trade, of the business aspects and the intriguing characters and the risks and rewards, would by itself be riveting reading, but what adds unique depth is the interweaving of a second world, the one in which the author is a respected college professor who teaches, among other things, a course on prostitution. The author, who is now a writer and wife, makes it clear she has no regrets for her past ¿other¿ life, and presents cogent arguments to legalize prostitution. The following day, I gave the book to my wife. She couldn¿t put it down either.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An excellant story of an academic over achiever that justifies leading a double life to pay the bills until that permanent professorship is garnered. Wrestling with the internal arguement of 'I like sex so why shouldn't I get paid for it?', Jen spins a well crafted tale of how an intelligent 'good girl' can lose her bearings when the money, drugs and alcohol come easy and the 'clients' are upper middleclass. Whether the realization that an arrest will destroy her 'real' career or relationships are doomed to failure when your part-time job is the oldest profession, Jen breaks away and puts the 'nightlife' behind her. Tantalizing, intriguing, informative, factual and emotional are just a few of the words to describe it and, Ladies, if you want to know what your man's fantasies are, this should be your handbook.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Call Girl' is a story more women could tell than just Jeannette Angell - if only they had her literary skill and her backbone! As a baby boomer, I myself got through my first university degree as a topless dancer in Boston's 'Combat Zone' and I'm only sorry I didn't know about the escort option! I was making $25 a night - a very long night - while Angell was pulling in $140 an hour. If we would all admit it, there are many women, both educated and not, both beautiful and not, who have taken up some form of sex working because of the money, the hours and the skill set. The demand by men is only exceeded by their hypocrisy. Given opportunities to make decent money with flexible hours, many of us might have welcomed greater professional choice. But not all of us can create a magical reading moment out of the experience. I read 'Call Girl' over a vacation weekend, and could hardly put it down. Her witty client sketches, her honest grappling with the contradictions of teaching at a prestige university during the day while being a prostitute at night and her frank approach to all the implications for her life made for a super read. I particularly admired her lack of self-pity when a rascal ex-lover absconded with her bank account leaving her to find her own solution. As a much published writer, Angell's prose is as smooth and slick as the charm with which she handled clients. In today's judgmental and repressive society, I recommend you buy this for all your friends as a holiday gift, to both educate and entertain them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Callgirl was a Good Read, and it was hard to put down. I'd not read anything like this before, so it was interesting, and sometimes kind of disgusting at the same time. As I read it, I kept thinking, 'what would the writer's mother think, of this part time callgirl job?' Trying to put myself in the author's shoes was difficult to do. I don't think the book was written as porn or erotica material. It didn't even read as a book with 'shock value.' Assuming it is truly a non-fiction book, makes it even more interesting. It left me thinking several things. First of all, the author writes a good book. It kept me reading until I was done. And then I kept thinking as the story went on, 'I sure hope my daughters would never have to go this route in life.' All in all, a good read. I will read a future book that Angell writes, simply because this book, was so readable.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jeannette Angell has out done herself with the creation of CallGirl. Not only was this book thouroughly researched - it is a can't put it down page turner that leaves the reader wondering what Jen's/Tia's next call will be. Will she get hurt physically or emotionally? Will the law catch up with her? Will her academic colleagues discover her secret life? Will she ever feel that she is a real person and find true happiness? CallGirl makes the readere also think about a touchy subject - should prostitution be legalized or not? Angell proves that escort services are far more safer for the CallGirl as well as her customer. I repeat -you go girl!! I can't wait to read Madam!!!!!!!!! S.J. LeMonde'
Guest More than 1 year ago
Opraph exposed it all. The lies, deceit, education, etc. Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. I've read a novel called LUST OF THE FLESH by Beverly Rolyat. I'm sure readers everywhere will enjoy this pageturning novel.